OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's trade gap hit a record high in August at $1.99 billion after exports slid sharply in both volume and value, particularly for machinery and equipment, Statistics Canada said on Friday.
The consensus forecast was for a deficit of $1 billion in August following a $1.32 billion shortfall in July, according to Statscan's revised data.
The deficit was the result of a 5.1 percent drop in exports to $29.22 billion and a 2.8 percent decrease in imports to $31.20 billion. Analysts had expected exports of $31.03 billion and imports of $32.16 billion.
Exports fell in all sectors in August, dragged down by machinery and equipment sales and specifically by exports of aircraft and telecommunications equipment.
Shipments to the United States, which buys about three-quarters of all exports, sank 3.2 percent but Canada's trade surplus with its neighbor held steady at $2.2 billion.
Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson